Like an LP or cassette? The noise and limited high end on those can be worse than the square wave clipping that you get from a digital source.
All natural noise is analog. There is no purer or cleaner sound than analog.
Digital recording cannot, does not, and will never capture the entire sound wave of the audio source. It can only take fractional snapshots of the sound wave. That alone means that some of the quality is lost. Then this information is compressed and reinterpreted by the audio software and player as it turns the digital codes back into analog sound. This too removes some of the quality.
Basically you get analog turned to digital turn back to analog. The advantage is the sound does not degraded over time.
The best way for music to be recorded is through analog equipment. Many rock bands are going back to recording on analog tapes because of the clean crisp sound, even though it is a more expensive way to record as the amount of hours needed is greater than that through digital equipment. Plus high end analog equipment is actually more expensive.
You get analog remaining analog and listened to as analog. Exactly the way it was played and recorded.
Then there is the analog source to listen to the recording. Of course cassettes are the worst quality, but nothing is better than reel to reel for everyday home use. Also a good quality turn table with a new LP is so much better than any digital source.
Edited by DodgerKing, 04 January 2013 - 11:18 PM.